Raptors mock draft has Toronto adding another Nebraska guard

Toronto Raptors - Masai Ujiri (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Masai Ujiri (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Even as the squad makes preparations for what should be a very competitive fight to the finish in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament, the Toronto Raptors mock draft prognosticators are hard at work trying to figure out who Masai Ujiri will add to this roster.

The point guard position has been put in the spotlight lately, as Dalano Banton is still all over the map on offense and Malachi Flynn has been excommunicated from the rotation. Getting some extra help here could help Toronto find a long-term contributor off of the bench.

Even though the Raptors no longer have a first-round pick in 2022 as a result of the Thad Young trade, the fact that they have a second-round pick previously owned by the Pistons means that they could potentially end up with the first selection in the second round. This puts them in a position to select a guard that oozes offensive skill.

The latest mock draft from ESPN’s Mike Schmitz has Toronto selecting Nebraska guard Bryce McGowens. After taking a Cornhusker last year in Banton, Toronto could return to Lincoln to draft a former 5-star recruit with the potential to quickly make a name for himself as a scorer.

Toronto Raptors mock draft: Bryce McGowens has so much potential.

McGowens is averaging 16.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game this season while getting experience as both a point guard and shooting guard. Due to his solid basketball instincts and ability to get to the rim, McGowens is carrying the Cornhuskers right now.

Critics might point to his 40% success rate from the field and 27% 3-point percentage as evidence that he is a raw offensive player, but those numbers could be attributed to the fact that he is getting very little support. If McGowens doesn’t take the game over, Nebraska has no shot.

His shooting stroke looks promising, and his craftiness inside the arc should get plenty of teams interested in his services. Nebraska’s all-time freshman scoring leader may be more effective in his rookie year than some of the developmental players normally picked in this range.

While McGowens is a big guard at 6-7, his defense is not where many would’ve liked it to have been. Around 180 pounds despite his height, some have suggested that he might need another year in college to add weight and get his shooting percentage up.

The concerns around McGowens are fair, but the Raptors likely won’t be dissuaded from taking someone with such a high ceiling as either a bigger point guard or lanky off-ball shooter. If he’s anywhere near Toronto’s range in the second round, Ujiri shouldn’t hesitate to pounce on him.

Next. NBA Rookie Ladder: Where is Scottie Barnes?. dark